Celebrating Runeberg Day (Runebergin päivä)

Greetings from Finland – today (February 5th) celebrates the birthday of Finland’s national poet – Johan Ludvig Runeberg.  Runeberg is known for Maamme the Finnish National Anthem among other works.  Today is often celebrated with a Runeberg torte.  This traditional Finnish pastry is almond flavored and has raspberry jam with a ring of icing.

About two weeks ago we went to the Kuopio Winter Market where we purchased Kalakukko for dinner.  Kalakukko is another traditional local food and is made from fish baked inside a loaf of rye bread.

We also purchased some Karelian pies (Karjalanpiirakka) these also have a rye crust and are usually filled with either rice porridge or potato.

Another regional specialty is fried vendace – which is a small whitefish found in local lakes.  Local fish include pike-perch, European perch, pike, among others.  We have also had a wide variety of other local foods including a nice reindeer roast that was prepared by one of our local faculty hosts.

Berries are also a favorite – blueberry juice is often served.  Several local berries including lingonberries and cloudberries.  These are used in a wide variety of ways (porridges, desserts, crepes, etc).  We purchased these at the Kuopio Winter Market as well from a local berry harvester.

More to follow,